Youth summit in Craig hopes to inspire kids to dream big |

Youth summit in Craig hopes to inspire kids to dream big

Moffat County High School junior Bryson Davis presents information to Moffat County commissioners about the second annual youth summit, to be held Saturday at Colorado Northwestern Community College.
Eleanor C. Hasenbeck/staff
Inspired to Grow 2018 Youth Summit The 2018 Inspire to Grow Youth Summit is a leadership summit to inspire children and youth to discover their passions and purpose through healthy choices. Who: Middle- and high-school students age 12 to 18 When: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 7 Where: Colorado Northwestern Community College Craig Campus, 2801 W. Ninth St. Cost: Free More information: Call Annette Norton at 970-757-0187

CRAIG — Youth leaders are convening a summit Saturday, April 7, to inspire children and youth age 12 to 18 to dream big, find their “why,” learn skills for resiliency and develop a growth mindset.

“It’s something new. It’s going to get you out of your comfort zone, which everyone should do. It will help with your mindset, and you’ll be with your peers, so it’s not uncomfortable,” said Bryson Davis, a planner for the summit and a Moffat County High School junior.

The “Inspire to Grow” Youth Summit aims to help kids discover their passions and purpose through healthy choices.

“I hope that kids will feel inspired to do more than they previously thought and have some direction and guidance on how they can pursue their dreams,” said Karli Bockelman, director of Grand Futures Prevention Coalition Moffat County. Her organization is one of many helping to offer the summit free of charge.

Middle- and high-school students are encouraged to attend the free event at Colorado Northwestern Community College. Free breakfast and lunch will be served, and organizers say plenty of fun is on the agenda. Registration opens at 9 a.m., and a welcome is planned for 9:30, with activities continuing until 3 p.m.

The day will begin with breakout sessions and end with an art competition and music.

Annette Norton was inspired to help organize a youth summit in Craig by her son, Bryson, who has had opportunities to attend leadership programs elsewhere and wanted to bring similar opportunities to more kids in Craig.

“I said, ‘Well, why don’t we make that happen,'” Norton said.

Norton leveraged connections made through her job with the 14th Judicial District to solicit nominations by organizations and agencies for youth who could plan the event.

“They did a great job. They created the name, topics and themes to focus on what they wanted to do,” Norton said. “I’m really proud to say that, with the help of all these agencies and work, we had 50 kids attend in 2017.”

Using art made by kids who attended the 2017 Youth Summit, Rise Above Colorado donated the time, supplies and expertise for kids to create this mural on the south side of the Main Street Emporium in downtown Craig.

Art created at the summit was used by Rise Above Colorado, with help from youth, to give the community the mural on the south wall of Main Street Emporium in downtown Craig.

This year, Rise Above Colorado is supporting a poster contest as part of the summit.

Participants will spend part of Saturday afternoon creating posters, and three will be awarded prizes and have their posters printed for placement throughout schools and the community to inspire youth to make good choices.

“It’s important that kids take something away from this. In the morning, kids will be challenged through social media to post something that they learned. They will be challenged to use social media in the next month to post progress from action steps they identified in each of the four-morning breakout sessions,” Norton said.

Another innovation is the inclusion of CNCC students as summit organizers.

Sophomore Brittany Young is CNCC’s Student Council president and a full-time substitute math teacher at Craig Middle School, where she also teaches a leadership skills class. She will use some of her classroom lessons in a growth mindset breakout session.

“I want to help a bigger number of kids learn how to think positive and develop a growth mindset. It’s something they need to learn,” she said.

The summit will not only help inspire students, but will also assist the adults helping them. Specifically, three individuals in the 14th Judicial District Recovery Court Program — people struggling to overcome substance abuse disorders — have volunteered to help work at the event.

“This allows them a window into a fantastic part of our community — the youth, “ Norton said.

Youth planners sought and received support for the event from Grand Futures, the 14th Judicial District, Boys & Girls Club of Craig, CNCC, Kiwanis, Memorial Regional Health, Rise Above Colorado, the Marijuana Education Initiative and Music with a Vision.

Everyone involved hopes local kids turn out to make the summit bigger and better than 2017.

“This is a great opportunity for kids of all ages to learn how to grow, to shape their minds, find their ‘why’ and dream big,” Young said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or

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